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What is Distance Learning?
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Where will my distance learning degree get me?
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Can previously earned credit be transferred?
Are there other ways to earn credit?
How can textbooks be acquired?
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Distance Learning and foreign students
How can textbooks be acquired?

Textbooks can be purchased directly from the source offering the course. Students signing up for correspondence courses, for example, will be given the opportunity to buy textbooks by mail.


Text books are very expensive. In addition, once a course is completed, the student may not need the book again. There is an alternative that is virtually free -- libraries. Students taking courses in a traditional classroom setting cannot expect to get the textbooks they need from a library since there are typically large numbers of students taking the same course at the same time, and demand would be heavy. A distance learning student, however, may be the only person in town taking a particular course and can usually select from several referenced textbooks. Thus, the distance learning student stands a much better chance of acquiring textbooks from a library than his traditional counterpart.


Distance learning degree students have access to city, county, regional, and state supported college and university libraries. To get a library card for a state-supported college or university library, all the student needs to do is ask for it.


If a library does not have the text required, it can be ordered through their Interlibrary Loan Department. Be aware, however, there is some inconvenience in getting books through Interlibrary Loan. It may take as long as two weeks for library staff to locate, and acquire a text. When it arrives, it will typically be loaned for only two weeks. To avoid interruption in the use of a text, the student may choose to submit sequential interlibrary loan requests. It works like this:

  • When the student picks up a book from interlibrary loan, he or she submits a second request for the same book.
  • By the time the first book is due, the next book should have arrived.
  • When the student returns the first book and picks up the second, he or she submits a third interlibrary loan request.
  • The process can be repeated until the student no longer needs the book.


Another technique is to take two or more courses at the same time. Alternate the course being studied at any given time depending upon which textbook is available. Most colleges allow the student six months to complete each course and many allow extensions.


Online Textbook Sources


It is now also a viable option to purchase textbooks online. It is worth noting, however, that advertised savings are not always what they seem. By the time shipping costs are added to your bill, your savings may disappear. As such, they can still be a competitive and convenient source. With that in mind, we offer the following sources:


Note: these links will open in a separate window.

  • Barnes & Noble College Bookstores. Inc.
  • Varsitybooks.com - your online college bookstore
  • Powells.com - Books for Students
  • BookVariety.com - Professional Online Superstore
  • textbookX.com
  • eCAMPUS.com - Textbooks & Stuff
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